The Danish Food Sector

The Danish Food Sector The Danish Food sector is a centuries-old success story about getting the best out of the resources provided by nature – and b...
Author: Eleanor Floyd
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The Danish Food Sector

The Danish Food sector is a centuries-old success story about getting the best out of the resources provided by nature – and by science. It is a story of continuous development and innovation leading to a sector reaching far beyond the borders of Denmark. Around the world, food products and technology ‘Made in Denmark’ are synonymous with high quality, safety and excellent hygiene. Danish food manufacturing businesses operate some of the world’s most advanced processing plants and the research and innovation

capabilities are internationally renowned. Furthermore, Danish companies and consumers are true pioneers when it comes to organic and natural food products, making Denmark an ideal test market and production location for such produce.

Danish companies and consumers are true pioneers when it comes to organic and natural food

Denmark has 5.6 million inhabitants but produces food enough for three times as many. Accessing Denmark therefore gives you access to both a unique food technology cluster and a vibrant and international agricultural sector.


invest in Denmark – The danish food sector

An Innovative and Competitive Cluster According to surveys from both The Netherlands and Ireland 1,2, Denmark has the most innovative food sector in the EU. In fact, Denmark has some of the world’s largest and most successful companies in many sectors of the food industry. For example, the world’s 2nd largest meat exporter is based in Denmark along with the 6th largest dairy company, the 4th largest brewery, the world’s best restaurant, and many other frontrunners in their fields. In addition, researchintensive universities, specialist knowledge organizations and smaller growth businesses enrich the sector.

Denmark is also the largest recipient of food research funds from the EU. Mutually beneficial partnerships across the cluster have built new knowledge and innovation power which contributes to the international competitiveness of the cluster: Danishbased producers of process equipment and ingredients export a stunning 80% and 95% of their goods respectively.

Reasons for Tapping into the Food Cluster in Denmark • Danish agricultural production is exported to more than 100 countries worldwide - entering the Danish market means tapping into one of the most international clusters in the world • Cutting edge food technology and production allows for partnerships, innovation and customer relationships at all levels of the value chain • World class universities and research institutions closely cooperate with the industry, bringing businesses further

through dynamic public-private partnerships • Denmark is named an “agricultural superpower” by The Economist 3, and is one of the leading food industry hubs in Europe when it comes to both ingredients, products and knowledge • Some of the world’s largest companies in food production have key activities placed in Denmark – such proximity to customers and knowledge is not available anywhere else

1) M. van Galen et al.: Innovation in the food industry - an international benchmark study (2013)


2) A. Renwick et al.: Innovation in the Irish Agrifood Sector (2014) 3) Source:

invest in Denmark – The danish food sector


invest in Denmark – The danish food sector

Food Ingredients Denmark has become a global frontrunner in industrial biotech with a history dating back to the 19th century where it all began with the Carlsberg Laboratory, the Chr. Hansen Labs and the Chemical Laboratory at the University of Copenhagen. Especially within ingredients for the food industry, Denmark holds a strong global position: 14% of all food ingredients supplied to the global industry come from Denmark. Food ingredients, such as enzymes, cultures, and proteins are currently the biggest growth segments in the Danish food industry. The growing global demand is expected

to further strengthen the development of Danish strongholds such as bio ingredients, probiotics, sweeteners, proteins and emulsifiers. Between them, Chr Hansen and DuPont have an 80% share of the global market for cultures. While DuPont and Novozymes are responsible for 75% of global food enzyme sales – important for fresh-keeping bread, full-bodied beer, high-yield juice and many other uses.

Reasons to Invest in the Danish Food Ingredients sector: • Denmark is the biggest ingredient supplier in the world measured per citizen.

• Manufacturing expertise built on proven know-how throughout the value chain

• Clear political focus and commitment to the food-industry in Denmark

• Collaboration with world-class universities plus access to highly-skilled labor which is essential in developing new high-value products

• Approximately 18,000 specialists employed in the sector – 6,000 of these based in Denmark – allowing new entrants to tap into some of the best talent globally


• Food ingredients, such as enzymes and cultures, and proteins are currently the biggest growth segments in the Danish food industry.

invest in Denmark – The danish food sector


invest in Denmark – The danish food sector

Food Production Technology Many Danish and international companies have established centres of excellence in Denmark in order to tap into the unique competencies and innovative solutions within food production. Global scope With strong ties to the large companies in the Danish food and agriculture industry, food technology companies in Denmark have ideal possibilities to test and market their products at an early stage to develop innovative and internationally competitive solutions. More than 80% of all process equipment, machinery and robots produced in Denmark is exported.

At the forefront of innovation At the Danish Technical University (DTU) 1,500 people work with food related topics and five major Danish universities such as Copenhagen and Aarhus University have dedicated food departments where innovative technologies have high priority. Additionally, the public-private-partnership Agro Food Park in the vicinity of Aarhus is expected to increase its staff from around 1,000 in 2014 to 3,000 in 2020. Danish food production technology not only leads the way now but intends to do so for many years to come.

Reasons to Invest in the Danish Food Production Technology sector: • Possibility of partnerships across the entire value chain as well as with public sector entities in e.g. advanced packaging solutions, automation and safety • With an expected rise in pig production of 10% to 29.6 million animals in 2014, the demand for cutting-edge automation and safety technologies at abattoirs is larger than ever


• Altogether, the sheer number and size of the many chocolate, beverage, slaughtering production facilities and industrial scale bakeries makes Denmark the ideal location for developing and marketing advanced food production technologies

invest in Denmark – The danish food sector


invest in Denmark – The danish food sector

We Speak Business Invest in Denmark provides your company with a tailor-made solution for locating your business in Denmark. We measure our success by how well we contribute to yours. So, if you are considering setting up business or expanding your activities in Denmark, make us your first stop. Our specialized staff across the globe has the corporate background, industry insight and well-connected networks to advise you on every aspect of locating in Denmark. Not only when you set up, but also as your business grows. Our tailor-made solutions include connecting companies with key local contacts, arranging fact-finding tours and providing comprehensive benchmark analyses. We make sense of local legislation and advantages of locating in Denmark – all free of charge and in guaranteed full confidentiality.

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